Love Thy Neighbor

When I met Chance* last July I never thought we'd be where we are now. Our first encounter wasn't cordial. My family was moving me into my new apartment when he violently rang my doorbell multiple times. When I opened the door I waited for an explanation from him because I'd never seen him and didn't know he was my next door neighbor. He barged in without saying a word. When I asked who he was he said, "I live here," as if I should've known already. I told him the next time he locked himself out not to ring my bell, and then I slammed my door shut. My dad told me I should be nicer to people and I gave him a seething side eye.

As time went on I'd hear Chance playing his horn through the walls and he'd hear me singing. Then one day we bumped into each other as I was walking in with my piano teacher. He recognized her from music circles around the city. We'd finally found some common ground: music. From that day the energy between us changed. He started bringing me things like his old piano books, drinks, and whatever else he thought might interest me. Then one night I knocked on his door to borrow a lighter. He didn't let me in but we shared a blunt in the stairwell. Baby steps. 

I learned we have more than music in common. Over short conversations and smoke sessions I found out we're both introverts who hate small talk and going on dates. When our talks got longer I became more intrigued by his life and music career. Even then I didn't think about the prospect of being more than friends; I was happy just getting to know him. Eventually we acknowledged our attraction to each other but I was apprehensive about pursuing anything because of our living situation. I worried about what would happen if we were to see each other with other people. After he kissed me I couldn't hold back anymore.

The best part about our budding relationship is that we've been able to skip all the bullshit. Our friendship has unfolded in the most organic way possible. He's already seen me at my worst. We can sit together in silence without feeling uncomfortable. We never had to go through the all-too-common phase of trying to be cool or impress each other. 

Even though I was doubtful in the beginning I'm happy to be as close to him as I am now--both literally and figuratively. 

*Indicates name has been changed

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